Remarkable Benefits of Almonds for Health, Weight Loss & Skin

By Refadoc, Posted on : Thursday, 02 July 2015 - 10:37 am IST

Remarkable Benefits of Almonds for Health, Weight Loss & Skin

Almonds are one of the most popular tree nuts available all over the world. They are available both in sweet and bitter form. Though the sweet ones are edible; the bitter ones are used to manufacture almond oil or is used to add flavor to the food. Generally, almonds are consumed raw but they can also be readily added to salads, sweet dishes and many other food forms. Almonds, when added to milk also make for an amazing and delicious beverage.

Often people consume almonds on an empty stomach in order to increase the speed of the absorption of the nutrients. However, you can also soak them overnight and can eat them in the morning.

Though being high in the fat content, Almonds are known to offer a variety of health benefits to people who consume them. The health benefits of this nut are immense. They are used as a healthy solution against conditions such as Constipation, Respiratory disorder, cough, heart diseases, anemia and even impotency. Almonds are also beneficial in maintaining healthy hair, skin and teeth.

So, here are some of the most important health benefits of Almonds:

1) Storehouse of Nutrients:

An almond is an edible seed which grows on the tree. This nut boasts of an impressive nutrient profile. Around an ounce of almond serving contains the follows:

Fiber : 3.5 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Fats : 14 grams

Vitamin E : 37%

Manganese : 32%

Magnesium : 20%

Copper, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and Phosphorus

Almonds are also a rich source of Phytic Acid; which helps to bind the minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. Eating around 23 almonds in a day is the best way to provide your body with essential nutrients.

2) Rich Source of Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are known to protect the body against oxidation, which tends to damage the molecules present in the cells and therefore, contribute towards aging and damaging diseases like cancer. However, almonds are a rich source of antioxidants, which is mostly concentrated in their outer brown skin. This is one of the major reasons why soaked almonds or blanched almonds are not recommended.

3) An Excellent Source of Vitamin E:

Vitamin E belongs to a group of fat soluble antioxidants which protect the body against cell damage. Almonds are considered one of the best sources of Vitamin E. Consuming Vitamin E is also known to lower down the rates of heart disease, cancer as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

4) Controls Blood Sugar Levels:

Though nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, proteins as well as fiber. This makes almond as one of the topmost choice for people suffering from Diabetes. Almonds are also high in the Magnesium content and therefore, tend to control the blood sugar levels. Scientific research has proved that almonds are quite beneficial in order to prevent metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.

5) Lowers the Levels of Cholesterol:

Containing high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood stream can be linked to heart disease. An almond tends to maintain the levels of the good HDL Cholesterol in the bloodstream and also helps to lose excessive belly fat.

6) Effective for Weight Loss:

Nuts are known to contain several nutrients which can be hard for the body to break down and digest. Almonds tend to boost the metabolism slightly and make a great addition to the list of food choices for people who want to lose their body weight.

7) Maintains the Bone Health:

Almonds are a great source of Vitamins and Minerals which tend to have a positive impact on the strength of the bones and the teeth. Almonds are also known to prevent old age problems such as Osteoporosis.

8) Great for Heart Health:

The monosaturated fats, proteins and the potassium which is found in Almonds are known to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Almonds are also known to reduce the presence as well as the impact of the C reactive proteins which can cause damage to the arteries. Almonds also contain Folic Acid which works as a positive protection against artery wall damage.

9) Great for your Skin:

Almond is great for your skin as well. Often, almond oil massages are recommended for babies. Almond milk is also one of the major ingredients used in soaps as almonds are known to improve the complexion of the skin.

10) Boosts the energy capacity of the body:

Due to the presence of Manganese, Copper and Riboflavin, Almonds are known to help in the production of energy and also boost your metabolism.

11) Protects Against Cancer:

Almonds are also known to improve the movement of the food through the colon, which helps to prevent colon cancer.

12) Protects Against Diabetes:

Almonds are also known to reduce the rise in the levels of glucose and insulin in the body. The nut is known to regulate the absorption and the processing of the glucose in the blood which makes the entire process smoother and safer for people suffering from Diabetes.

13) Great for pregnant women:

Almonds are a great source of Folic Acid which helps in preventing birth defects in the growing babies. Folic Acid is also known to help with the cell and the tissue formation. Folic Acid found in almonds is known to be great for the pregnant women as well as their babies.

14) Prevents Constipation:

Since almonds are a rich source of fiber, they are known to prevent constipation. Combined with drinking around 7-8 glasses of water every day and 4-5 almonds a day is going to keep your digestive system and bowel movements in a perfectly regular way.

Almonds are available in a variety of ways for you to consume. Raw and unsalted almonds are the safe ones to consume, but a lot of people also choose them in their roasted form. Both these forms are a rich source of nutrients and minerals.

Selecting and Storing Almonds:

When in their shells, Almonds are known to have a very long shelf life. While purchasing them shelled, make sure that the shells are not split, moldy or stained in any way. Shelled almonds can be stored and sealed in a container, which can make them last longer as they are less exposed to humidity and air. In case you are purchasing bulk bins, make sure that these bins are sealed off properly in order to ensure maximum freshness of the nuts. While choosing almonds, go for the ones which are uniform in color and appearance. Do not choose the ones which are limp and shriveled. Smell them if you can; if they smell sweet and nutty, they are good to go. If they smell sharp and bitter, it means that they are rancid.

In case you want almonds which come with a roasted flavor and texture, you should choose the ones which have been dry roasted and haven’t been cooked in oil just like their counterparts. Even when you are choosing the dry roasted kind of almonds; make sure to check the label for any extra ingredient such as sugar, corn syrup or any preservative which has been added in order to extend the shelf life of the nut.

Almonds are known to be high on a fat content. Therefore, it is recommended to store them properly in order to prevent them from turning rancid. Shelled almonds can be stored in a tightly sealed container or in a cool dry place away from the exposure of the sunlight. Keeping them in a cool environment will protect them from turning rancid and will prolong its freshness. When refrigerated, these nuts can go on to last for several months or even up to a year. Shelled almonds can turn rancid more quickly as compared to the whole ones.

Ways to enjoy Almonds:

Apart from being consumed raw, almonds can be added to a variety of dishes – ranging from salads to baked goods as well.

Preparing Almonds:

In case you are buying whole shelled almonds, they can be chopped by hands or could be done with the help of a food processor. In case you are choosing the latter, it is recommended to pulse on and off the almonds for a few times, rather than running the blade constantly. In order to roast almonds at your home, place them in an oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep the temperature constant at about 160-170 F in order to preserve the healthy oils within the nuts. It is not recommended to blanch the almonds as it removes the skin and the nuts are no longer considered to be a whole food. The skin of the nut is known to be rich in nutrients and flavonoid phytonutrients which can team up with the Vitamin E in order to double up the antioxidant capacity of these nuts.

Adding Almonds to your Diet:

There are a variety of ways by which you can add Almonds to your diet every day. Take a look:

  1. Add a punch of these nuts to your everyday plain yoghurt or curd along with some dry fruits in order to add on to their value.
  2. You can even enhance the healthy sauté of your curried vegetables with these nuts.
  3. Add some almond butter to your breakfast smoothie in order to boost both the taste as well as the protein content of the drink.
  4. Almonds along with apple slices make for an amazing power snack which can be consumed anytime.
  5. Add them to the cold salads along with some fresh peas and currants.
  6. Sliced nuts can even be added to a chicken salad in order to enhance the immediate flavor.
  7. Almond flour can be used in cooking and baking as it is gluten free.
  8. Almond Milk, which is known for its mild flavor and its light color, is well suited for those who are intolerant to dairy, soy or are vegan.
  9. Green almonds, when dipped with sea salt, can be eaten as snacks.
  10. Almond Oil is known to be great for cooking at high temperatures. It is also quite beneficial for your hair health.

Nutritional Profile of Almonds:

Almonds, raw one cup whole (143 grams)

Nutrient

% Profile

 

 

Water

6.31 grams

Energy

828 kcal

Proteins

30.24 grams

Total Lipids (Fats)

71.40 grams

Carbohydrates

30.82 grams

Fiber

17.9 grams

Sugar

6.01 grams

Cholesterol

0 grams

Calcium

385 mg

Iron

5.31 mg

Magnesium

386 mg

Phosphorus

688 mg

Potassium

1048 mg

Sodium

1 mg

Zinc

4.46 mg

Vitamin C

0 mg

Thiamin

0.293 mg

Riboflavin

1.627 mg

Niacin

5.174 mg

Vitamin B6

0.196 mg

Folate

63 mg

Vitamin B12

0 mg

Vitamin A

0 mg

Vitamin E

36.65 mg

 

 

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